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Jerry Rees website

The motley crew pictured above are (left to right) Henry Selick, Bill Kroyer, Jerry Rees, Brad Bird and John Musker circa 1978. The photo comes from Rees’ new personal website which touts his interesting career, but works for us as a fascinating scrapbook of his many film projects. Rees has also posted his early live-action shorts, co-directed with Tim Burton, including Luau (part 1, embed below, featuring animation artists Joe Ranft, John Musker, Brian McEntee, Sue Kroyer, Ed Gombert and Harry Sabin – among others), and Doctor of Doom (which stars Burton himself — his voice dubbed by Brad Bird!)

He has pages devoted to his feature The Brave Little Toaster, his work on the original Tron, the beloved Disney World film Return to Neverland and Warner Bros. Space Jam. There are all kinds of surprises here; well worth exploring if you are a student of the current generation’s early roots.

  • AdrianC.

    Judging by the photo above, I guess facial hair was a trend of that era.

    Seriously though, I’ve only just skimmed through his website and there are some interesting tidbits. I especially appreciate the photos related to “the Brave Little Toaster.” It’s rare to see and read anything about what went on behind the scenes of that film.

    I’m also surprised to see that Mr. Rees is a fairly well-rounded artist who has a wide range of artistic skills. Kudos to him!

  • I just saw the Doctor of Doom. !!!!!!!!!!!! “MBdeegdeeEeh?” “MbdugughDa” “Uno, dos, tres!” It’s been a long time since I’ve cried laughing sooo much! Genius. I have to watch more of these!!! the Luau is so random too XD

  • Dr.Truth

    HOLY SMOKES! They talked about “Luau” alot in the Joe Ranft section of “Two guys named joe”. It’s a trip to actually see the film!!! Thanks for posting this, Jerry!

  • I was fortunate to work for Jerry on The Brave Little Toaster (see the dorky caricature of me on the Toaster web page, with my name misspelled) and it was a wonderful experience. I’m happy that he is getting some attention here. He is a great film maker and a genuinely nice guy. His work should be seen by everyone.

    • Jerry

      Hey, many thanks for the kind feedback Steve! (and other folks on the Brew as well) In a few weeks I’ll be going back in to take care of a whole list of type-Os. Will definitely correct your name. It was a pleasure to have you along on the Toaster adventure!

  • Karen

    The crew in the photo was known as the “Rat’s Nest.” Named so by Don Bluth–in response to the threat he perceived they posed to his status at the studio. They wore that name like a badge of honor, proudly posting a “Rat’s Nest” sign over their door.

  • Bruce Wright

    Long live the Rat’s Nest!

  • I had heard rumors that “Luau” existed, it is great finally getting to see it. I love Kahuna!

  • I saw some of those films at the Tim Burton exhibit at MOMA about a year ago, but it was so loud, I couldn’t hear the films. Glad they’re on Youtube now. IIRC, Luau had an absolutely gorgeous and adorable redheaded woman in it.

  • Was everyone always skinny during the 70’s?

  • greg m.

    Sue would have been perfect for Rowan and Martins Laugh-In!!

  • E. L. Kelly II

    “Luau” was a laugh riot! This is the first time I’ve heard of it…I can’t even recognize which animators are which, though I just near wet myself at all the famous names in there.
    Kahuna needn’t worry about his identity. I’d like to be known by his real name, too. Vladimir Moonface, Jr. – that thing is awesome.